6 month mission marker by burning a tie...did not get it done until 10 months out
Looking out over the front porch at the Hoyles house in McMinnville
Service Work...on Bro Deals golf cart behind the farmer's nursery
I am doing great! Can't believe that this transfer is already over! We got calls on Saturday and I am staying and Elder Zinkand is going to Nashville. I am getting Elder Whitney, and this will be his last transfer. So in missionary lingo I am killing him off Haha!!!!
But McMinnville is great! I love it and I am so glad I get to stay her for a few more months. Our investigators are doing great! Yesterday it was announced that Diana will be baptized on Saturday and I am so excited for her. It feels like I have done nothing and she is progressing so far. She reads and loves church. She fits right in with the ward which is really good. The Hoyle family, one of my favorites, pick her up for church and drop her off after. And Sister Hoyle is going to be picking her up on Saturday to help her get ready for her baptism! The Hoyle's are amazing.
They have my dream house.. It is so awesome. Brother Hoyle is a cowboy and we talk about his bull riding days and they are awesome. He has a horse named Cricket and on Saturday they invited us out to eat supper with them and do some service. Well my service was to brush Cricket and rub him down with fly stuff. It was so good to be close to a horse again. I definitely know what I want in life... But anyways! I have an amazing story.. I am still in shock that this happened and is continuing to happen..
Thursday morning we go walking with a recent convert. We get back to our apartment and we start getting ready for the day. As we are getting ready for the day we both miss the phone go off, and so I check it later on and see that there are two voice mails. I listen to the first one and it is a guy my aged named Michael and he was wanting to meet with us. He said he was a member of the Church of Christ all his life but he has seen how the Church of Christ has started falling away and that the LDS Church has always stayed strong! He said he just had a bad break up with his girlfriend who was LDS and wanted to learn more. After listening to that I get all pumped and call him right back!... I was on the phone for an hour and a half listening to his story of what had happened.. Little did I know that that phone call had helped him out so much!
The next day we meet him at the Three Star Mall in McMinnville. We talk for a while and he is gaining a testimony dad gum fast. There was this old man, like in his 70's, who saw that we were talking to him.. He came up to us twice and told Michael to read the bible, then another time to read the King James version and not the Mormon version.. But what blew my mind was that Michael said I don't understand how people can be so judgemental of Mormons when they don't even know what they are talking about. If they would read the Book of Mormon they would understand! I guess I just lack faith but that built my testimony up! He asked if we could meet him later on that day at his house.
We bring the sister missionaries with us because they know how to describe feelings about relationships and what not better than I can. They do a really good job. Anyways, the lesson at his house was so spiritual.. It was one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever had these past 10 months. I felt so prompted to tell him about my senior year and all that I went through. How my dream as a young boy was to play under the lights Friday nights and make it to state. I told him how after all my concussions I wasn't able to play, but that after Christmas I started to realize how the gospel can change my life. I asked him to commit to be baptized on the 25th! He said to me.."wow the 25th... I know that with Jesus Christ I WILL be baptized on the 25th. I will take state with you brother. You and I will defeat Satan and take state." Coming into his life and helping him progress in the gospel has been one of the biggest blessings of my mission.
So to those back home who are deciding on serving a mission? Go. I would never want anything more than this right now. A mission blesses you more than you could ever imagine. It's not easy, but it is well worth it.
On facebook I have been teaching Michael and he has put up some status that has touched me..
Just got home from Church and Church...was..AMAZING! I have been touched by everyone's testimonies.I have met great people along with making new friends.But what really happened today...was I fallen more in love with the book of Mormon.I am finally happy that I have not just found myself but something that I am only doing for me and for no one else but Jesus Christ.And I am proud to announce,that on Saturday,August 25th,I will be baptized into Jesus Christ and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.Last week has now past,and my negative ways and negative world and attitude is now gone.God has told me to let that go,and I am glad I did and won't regret it.Thank you Missionaries and Sisters for making this happen.Thank you so much.I can't wait for 3 weeks from now.I will be there every Sunday,I promise.Now to rest and look forward to this week and seeing how everything goes. Thank you Vaughn Perkins! I promise that I will not back out of this decision I have made no matter what happens.On August 25th,We're winning State!
Mom and Dad,
This last week has just been a spiritual powerhouse. It has been awesome. I know I am being overly blessed for my obedience and commitment to serve the Lord. I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. One of my favorite quotes is "The gospel of Jesus Christ changes bad men to good men. from good men to great men."
I know that He lives today. That he runs this church and that there is a prophet on earth today! The Book of Mormon is true! A man can get closer to God by reading that book than any other book! I love my family so much! I love y'all so much! I love Tennessee! I am so grateful to be able to be a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am so grateful that I have been called to represent my Savior Jesus Christ to help people come closer to him. Time is going by to fast and I give it my all every day.
Well I love you so much mom! And I love the rest of the family as well! Thank you for all the support! It truly does help me out so much! I miss y'all tons an love y'all tons!
Love Elder Vaughn Dee Perkins